Registrar of Companies (“ROC”) is appointed under Section 609 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”) in the various states across India for the purpose of registering companies under the Act. It functions under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”). Each ROC maintains the registry of records which contains details of the companies registered under them. Companies have to file documents as prescribed under the Act from time to time with the ROC of their jurisdiction (the ROC of their region/state under which they are covered).
The register which is maintained by the ROC and the documents filed by the company with them is available for inspection by the public on payment of the prescribed fee. The information provided by the ROC for the public includes the certificate of incorporation, address of the company, details of directors, registered capital, nature of the business, accounts of the company, shareholders details etc.
ROC search report (“search report”) is a report prepared by the practising CA, CS or Advocate after inspection of the documents or records maintained with the ROC about a company. It is a tool for the stakeholders or banks of the details of a company’s records. Usually, banks require a search report of the company while granting loans to them. They ask for this search report with the purpose to keep themselves safe from the defaulting companies. The search report helps the stakeholders to decide on the investment, control and management or to enter into contact with the company.
Contents of Search Report
The search report generally contains the following information about a company-
- Name of the company
- Date of incorporation
- CIN of the company
- The capital structure of the company
- Registered office
- Details of the company directors
- Details of shareholders
- Details of registered charges
Process of Preparing Search Report
The search report is prepared either by physically visiting ROC and inspecting the documents and records or by inspecting the documents available on the MCA website. The prescribed fee is to be paid physically before going to the ROC for inspection of the documents or records. The person inspecting has to visit the ROC along with the challan paid for the fees. The challan must be in the name of the person going for inspection, or he should have an authority letter with him if the challan is in the name of a company. At the time of inspection, the details can be noted in the ROC only with a pencil. Usage of pens is not allowed to note the details.
If the inspection is done through the MCA website, then the fee is to be paid by logging on to the website. The fee is paid through the payment options given on the website. Once the fee is paid, documents can be viewed under the ‘View Public Document’ option present under the ‘MCA Sevices’ tab. After payment of the fee, the documents are available for viewing for one week and not more than three hours continuously.
Uses of Search Report
Generally, banks require a search report to assess the company before granting loans. The search report helps them to safeguard themselves from any default company or company that has default directors. The history and title of the properties owned by the company can be traced by preparing a search report as it provides details of charge holders, hypothecation, mortgage created which will benefit the banks at the time of granting the loan.
It helps the shareholders to know the status of the company. They may obtain a search report to know the status of their shares held in the company and the date on which their shares are transferred. Since the search report provides the complete history of the company since incorporation, it will help them to decide before investing in the company.
An individual may get the search report prepared before becoming the director of the company. He can get to know the present directors and assets and liabilities of the company. The customers or suppliers may get a search report of the company before entering into agreement or contract with the company.
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